Marine Safety Alert: Fuel Switching Safety

Friday, July 15, 2011

A Marine Safety Alert was issued to increase awareness and reiterate general guidance on fuel systems and fuel switching safety in an effort to prevent propulsion losses. After a noted decrease, there has been a recent increase in the number of reported loss of propulsion incidents on deep draft vessels within the Eleventh Coast Guard District. Coast Guard studies and review of marine casualties indicate that lack of maintenance and testing of certain systems, including fuel oil systems, is one of the leading causes of propulsion failures. Advanced planning and careful fuel system management are critical to safely switching fuels. This is especially important if fuel switching is not routine practice. Proper procedures, training, and maintenance are essential for vessels to safely switch between heavy/intermediate fuel oils and marine distillates. Additionally, vessel operators need to have a good understanding of their system requirements and limitations, and determine if any modifications may be necessary to safely switch between intended fuels.
Managing Risk
Extensive analysis of propulsion losses has revealed certain trends among vessels operating on marine distillates. In order to manage risk and improve safety, vessel owners and operators should:
• Consult engine and boiler manufacturers for fuel switching guidance;
• Consult manufacturers to determine if system modifications or additional safeguards are necessary for intended fuels;
• Develop detailed fuel switching procedures;
• Establish a fuel system inspection and maintenance schedule;
• Ensure system pressure and temperature alarms, flow indicators, filter differential pressure transmitters, etc., are all operational;
• Ensure system seals, gaskets, flanges, fittings, brackets and supports are maintained and in serviceable condition;
• Ensure a detailed system diagram is available;
• Conduct initial and periodic crew training;
• Exercise tight control when possible over the quality of the fuel oils received;
• Complete fuel switching well offshore prior to entering restricted waters or traffic lanes; and
• Test main propulsion machinery, ahead and astern, while on marine distillates.
Additionally, the following guidance may assist vessel owners and operators in preventing propulsion losses when operating on marine distillates:
• Monitor for accelerated wear of engine/fuel system components and evaluate maintenance period intervals;
• Ensure fuel viscosity does not drop below engine manufacturer’s specifications;
• Ensure proper heat management of fuel systems to maintain minimum viscosity values;
• Make appropriate fuel rack adjustments to account for potential fuel pressure differentials between residual fuel oils and marine distillates;
• Determine speed limitations for stopping the engine ahead and ordering an astern bell to ensure timely engine response; and
• Ensure start air supply is sufficient and fully charged prior to maneuvering.
This safety alert is provided for informational purposes only and does not relieve any domestic or international safety, operational or material requirement. Developed by the Prevention Division, United States Coast Guard District Eleven, Alameda, CA.


 

Maritime Reporter November 2014 Digital Edition
FREE Maritime Reporter Subscription
Latest Maritime News    rss feeds

Fuels & Lubes

Liquefaction Terminals to Dominate LNG Capital Expenditure

Capital expenditure (Capex) on global LNG facilities is expected to total $259 billion (bn) over the period 2015-2019, with investments expected to be 88% larger

Wärtsilä to Begin Building LNG Terminal in January

Wärtsilä has been given full notice to proceed (NTP) from Manga LNG Oy for the supply of a liquefied natural gas (LNG) import terminal in Tornio, Northern Finland.

Italian Shipbuilder Pleads Guilty to Environmental Crimes

An Italian shipping firm based in Genoa, Italy, pleaded guilty to violating the Act to Prevent Pollution from Ships by falsifying required ships’ documents to hide

Maritime Safety

NZ Report: Human Error to Blame for Rena Grounding

New Zealand's Transport Accident Investigation Commission (TAIC) published its final report into the grounding of containership Rena in October 2011. The TAIC’s

DNV GL Targets Safer Approach to Subsea Lifting

The completion of a joint industry project (JIP) to improve existing standards and regulations around subsea lifting operations has resulted in a new recommended practice (RP).

NOAA: US to See More Floods from Sea Level Rise

Most of U.S. coast may see 30 or more days a year of floods up to 2 feet above high tides. By 2050, a majority of U.S. coastal areas are likely to be threatened

 
 
Maritime Contracts Naval Architecture Offshore Oil Pod Propulsion Port Authority Salvage Ship Electronics Ship Repair Ship Simulators Sonar
rss | archive | history | articles | privacy | terms and conditions | contributors | top maritime news | about us | copyright | maritime magazines
maritime security news | shipbuilding news | maritime industry | shipping news | maritime reporting | workboats news | ship design | maritime business

Time taken: 0.0960 sec (10 req/sec)